Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Best bridge camera 2015

Bridge cameras look like dslr cameras, have built in lenses, usually super zooms and are often a choice for those who want more than a compact but not the weight of a dslr

Techradar says

Many predicted that bridge cameras would be wiped out by the rise of affordable DSLRs and compact system cameras, but the combination of immense optical zoom versatility and advanced features at an affordable price explains their enduring appeal.

The best bridge cameras now offer DSLR-like levels of control and fast, wide-aperture lenses, along with raw shooting and other useful extras such as Wi-Fi and articulated screens. Image quality didn’t used to be a bridge camera forte, due to their widespread use of small 1/2.3-inch sensors. These days, however, there are models with much larger 1-inch designs that rival the image quality of some compact system cameras.

Here is a cheapie

panasonic_fz72_press_004-650-80

6. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72

The FZ72 may be showing its age, but falling prices keep it in the game

Sensor size: 1/2.3-inch CMOS | Megapixels: 16.1 | Zoom range: 60x, 20-1200mm-equivalent | Screen type: 3-inch fixed, 460,000 dots | Viewfinder: Yes | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 9fps | Maximum video resolution:1080p | User level: Beginner/enthusiast

£198.00 
60x zoom
Raw format shooting
No Wi-Fi or touch sensitivity
Small, low resolution EVF

The FZ72 is one of the cheapest bridge cameras in our selection, yet it still sports a great zoom range with an impressive 20mm-equivalent wide angle focal length. Its lens aperture also opens up as wide as f/2.8, though it does narrow to f/5.9 at full zoom. Raw format recording and full manual control give the FZ72 enthusiast appeal, as does the attractive image quality. We would rank the FZ72 higher, but there?s no Wi-Fi and the relatively low screen and electronic viewfinder resolutions are a let-down. You?ll also have to do without an eye sensor to automatically switch between the two displays.

and here is one that is not cheap

SonyRX10II-03-650-80

3. Sony RX10 II

Sony’s premium bridge camera has a heavy video slant and a price to match

Sensor: 1-inch, 20.2Mp | Lens: 24-200mm f/2.8 | Monitor: 3-inch 1,229K dots |Viewfinder: EVF |Continuous shooting: 14fps | Movies: 4K | User level:Enthusiast/expert

£1199.00 
4K video and 14fps continuous shooting
1-inch sensor and f/2.8 lens
Short zoom range for a bridge camera
High-tech 4K makes it expensive

The RX10 II has the same 24-200m F/2.8 lens and 1-inch sensor combination as the original RX10, making it a premium quality bridge camera for those prepared to sacrifice ultimate zoom range in exchange for a better camera. The RX10 II, however, adds Sony’s new ‘stacked sensor’ design for much faster data readout, 4K video and a 40x slow-motion mode. It’s evolved into an impressively high-tech stills video camera, but while videographers will be interested, it’s made it expensive compared to other bridge cameras for stills photographers – it’s a great camera, but the high price limits its appeal.

The majority of bridge cameras are well under £400 so look here if this is the type of camera for you

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